Professional Ethics for Freelance Journalist Jobs

When you think of freelance journalist jobs, the ability to work with words merely forms a small fragment of the skill sets that constitute your job profile. Discipline, on job behavior, and work ethics are aspects that can never be emphasized enough. Journalism has some basic rules and professional ethics which pertains to both freelance and professional journalists. The professional ethics related to freelance journalism jobs basically relate to representing the truth in the same way that a regular journalist would.

Because journalism is a powerful social tool, there are some guidelines that need to be adhered to. The basic rule of journalism is portraying things honestly.

The truth and nothing but the truth

Report only when you have accurate information. Your facts must be backed by proof for them to be acceptable as ethical journalism. The press is a powerful body. Misuse of such social power and position is contemptible. Under no circumstances should you be reporting incidents that you can not confirm or are untrue.

The purpose of the press is to inform, not harm

The truth is for you to report, and the accused is for the law to punish. A journalist shall not treat any convicted, proven or yet to be proven, with any kind of hatred or contempt. Journalism is a humanitarian job. Sensitivity is a virtue that sets the journalist apart from the police, and that must not be lost. Children and women should be receiving additional care while being reported about. Pictures of tragedy stricken individuals or families must be displayed judiciously.

Independence is the source of respect for the journalist

A journalist commands great respect in the society, and the words you use even while doing freelance journalist jobs shall be treated as the truth and shall elicit reaction from stretches far and wide. Journalism comes with the burden of social responsibility. A journalist is not an advertising copy writer. Writing under the influence of any authority is misleading and calls for stern criticism. A journalist's view on various social issues actually becomes the voice of the masses.

Self-regulation of the journalist

A journalist is expected to be a respectable entity as an individual. A journalist is someone who distinguishes acceptable from unacceptable, and his social life should be one which sets examples especially for the younger population. A journalist is expected to take responsibility for his actions, and a journalist must be willing to be held accountable for everything he puts in print.

Freelance journalists and multiple submissions

It is understandable that a freelance journalist has to explore all his options to find himself the best deal for his or her stories. However, that does not compromise his/her loyalty to the publisher that pays for the stories. Multiple submissions are totally acceptable from any freelance journalist; however, they must have express permission from potential buyers before doing so.

Freelance journalists must respect and understand the responsibilities that come with freedom of the press.